No exams were given, nor papers required. This was the first talk in the annual “Last Lecture” series, providing seniors the chance to hear from 16 notable faculty members, alumni, and staff — and to gain a bit of practical knowledge before walking out FitzRandolph Gate.
This year’s topics ranged from dark matter to the paintings of Winslow Homer to choosing a health insurance plan and saving for retirement. John Bogle ’51, founder of the Vanguard mutual-fund group, offered investing advice. Joshua Bolten ’76, White House chief of staff to President George W. Bush and visiting professor at the Woodrow Wilson School, spoke about public service. Jim Consolloy, who retired this year after two decades as grounds manager and is an honorary member of the Class of 2010, led a group of seniors on a botanical tour of the campus.
English professor Jeff Nunokawa spoke to the students about his ongoing project of writing and reflecting through daily Facebook notes. “He talked about how important it is that we read and write a little bit each day,” David Gibbs ’10 said. “It’s a good suggestion.”
Other speakers included economist Paul Krugman, history professor emeritus James McPherson, and computer science professor Brian Kernighan. The series, said senior Kelly Lack, “made me realize how many amazing minds we have at Princeton, and how we are really fortunate to be among all these people who are so talented and motivated and have so many life lessons to offer.”